Boys, boys everywhere

1059 1059_ () 1059 1059 Weekly column

We recently gave birth to our fifth child, a precious boy named Henry Ephrem. He is named after two of his great-great grandfathers.

Five Balducci boys is indeed a sight to behold. At one point, when the four older brothers came to meet their new sibling, Paul and I looked at each other in disbelief.

“When did we produce all these children,” I marveled. Five boys? Didn’t we just get married last year? (For the record: no, we did not.) As with the birth of any baby, we are amazed at the wonder of new life, blessed by God’s love for us, and also very tired.

One recent morning, I awoke after a long night of feeding the baby to discover the boys gathering their winter coats and hats, along with whatever umbrellas they could find.

“We’re making parachutes,” one told me.

“Where are you jumping from,” I asked, not really wanting the answer but knowing I needed it.

I followed the boy out to the deck, where the others were standing in line to jump. The “parachutes” were plastic grocery bags and umbrellas. The landing pad below was some old bedding from the garage. They were taking turns aiming for the pad, jumping as high as they could to get the best wind for a smooth landing.

None of this surprised me – and that is one of the things that I love about my life with all these boys.

Since Henry’s birth, we have been receiving a lot of love and care from family members and friends. I’ve been so inspired during these acts of kindness – help with the boys, gifts, and caring for us. Cooking for another person or family is an especially beautiful way to take care of them.

And then there are other offerings as well, moments that remind me that the little things (like a bar of Dark Chocolate with Toffee) mean so much.

A friend dropping off dinner one night asked if I had any dishes from other meals that she could return for me. Friends cooking for us have called to see what we wanted to eat. And several people have gone out of their way to make this special for the big boys as well.

One friend, when dropping off dinner recently, had a little bag with a trinket for each of the four big brothers. She chose the gifts beautifully – cars for one boy, Snakes! for another, a magnifying glass (“for burning ants!” said the boy) and some Silly Putty. The boys were so excited.

After a while, Augie, who had gotten the cars, took a liking to the putty. He spent the rest of the evening, up until bedtime, having a grand time turning it into various amazing shapes.

Early the next morning, however, he came into our room very upset.

“Something’s stuck to my head,” he whimpered. There, smothered into his hair just above his front right temple, was a light pink disc. Silly Putty.

I woke up Paul and asked him to deal with it. And deal with it he did – Augie came back a few minutes later shorn to the nub – a silver dollar-sized nearly-bald spot on his head.

“Now we have to shave his whole head,” I cried, thinking of how his little pin head would look for First Day of Kindergarten pictures.

“He’ll be fine,” Paul said calmly.

And he is. When I was more awake a bit later, I discovered the spot is in exactly the right place where it looks totally normal – a slightly bald spot that somehow works perfectly with his hairdo.

Welcome to the world, Henry! The part of the world you got dropped in? I think you’re going to fit in just fine. 1059″>



  1. Renee Moore says:

    You are an amazing women, and mom. God knew what he was doing when he placed 5 boys with you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We had the EXACT same thing happen with our youngest son the other night. He showed up in my room with glittery silly putty blobbed exactly in the middle of the top of his head. For future possible use, because you know these things don’t happen just once, or it won’t happen in the same convenient cutting spot, my husband used “Goo Gone” (an oily substance you can find at most big box and some grocery stores)on it. He poured a few tablespoons into his hand and worked it through the area then combed it out little by little. Our son lost a few hairs through the ordeal, but not enough to produce a bald spot. Happy parenting!

  3. patjrsmom says:

    This is EXACTLY the type of writing that keeps me coming back for more. Thank you for sharing your family adventures, parenting journey and faith with your readers. And thank you for sharing your weekly columns with the Yankees who don’t have home delivery from the GA newspapers!

  4. Oh, how my oldest would love to move in with your family! 🙂

    Here’s my question,though– how do fight the urge to answer with an “absolutely not!” when you hear of their antics? When I read about the parachuting, that was my very first thought! Everything seems like its going to require more of me than I have to give (more to clean up, things get broken, maybe a trip to the emergency room . . . ???)

  5. Oh! We need a picture of Augie, don’t you think?